Proposal Guidelines

Lee Honors College Research or Creative Scholarship Proposal Guidelines

To be eligible for a Lee Honors College Research or Creative Scholarship, you must be a full-time student (minimum of 12 credit hours in fall and spring semesters) in good standing with the Lee Honors College. Scholarships may not be used for activities to be completed after a student has graduated. Please refer to your most recent honors college audit for information regarding your status as an honors college student.

Projects proposed for Spring Semester: Deadline is October 15
Projects proposed for Summer I/II and or Fall Semester: Deadline is February 15

1. Proposals should be no longer than five pages (not including references and budget) and should be double-spaced in 12-point type. You should proofread your work carefully. The proposal should be clearly written, with proper spelling and grammar.

2. Your mentor may assist you in editing the proposal, but should not write it for you. If your work is related to a larger research project, your proposal and your letter of support must clearly describe your role in the project. Your narrative should be prepared independently from other individuals involved in the project (including your mentor).

3. Proposed work may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Traditional undergraduate research projects (laboratory, field, library-based research).

  • Honors thesis research.

  • Visual arts projects.

  • Creative writing.

  • Participation in a performance (e.g., musical, theatrical, spoken word).

  • Original music composition, theatrical or choreography projects.

  • Senior engineering design projects.

4. Your narrative must include the following required elements:

  • Abstract: Your abstract should be a brief summary (3-5 sentences) of the proposed work. 

  • Main objective or purpose of the proposed project: Clearly explain what you intend to do.

  • Context of proposed work: Place your work into a broader scholarly or creative framework and include a literature review or description of seminal artists and works in the creative discipline (if appropriate).

  • Significance of the proposed work: Briefly describe the broader significance of the proposed work. What do you hope to achieve by doing this research or creating this work? Keep in mind that the scholarship committee members may not have expertise in your particular area of study, so be certain the significance is clear to a non-expert audience.

  • Methods or Approach: Explain how you intend to complete the project. Include a proposed timeline for the work. In general, the proposed work should have some closure after one semester and must be completed within one year.

  • Intended outcome or product of your proposal: Describe the nature of the final product of the proposal (e.g., a paper, report, art show, performance, or submission of your honors thesis). Both you and your mentor must sign off on the final product to indicate that the proposed work has been completed.

  • WMU IRB or IACUC Approval (if needed): Please note that any research proposal that involves people via interviewing, questionnaires, observations, and/or experiments must have the approval of the WMU Institutional Review Board (WMU IRB) before any research can be initiated. Likewise, research that involves animals in observations or experiments must have the approval of the Institutional Animal Care Use Committee (IACUC). This determination should be made with the counsel of the faculty mentor. If board review is necessary, you must make appropriate arrangements for a hearing and forward (or include) a copy of the board's decision. Consideration by these boards usually takes four to six weeks. Funds will not be released for research projects that require approval by these boards until written approval is received in the honors college.

5. Include a budget (maximum of $3,000). The awarded money could be used in its entirety either for direct student support (stipend, hourly salary, see below), or for supplies, equipment, or travel required to conduct the research. (Please note: travel to present results at a conference may not be requested. Separate funds are available to support conference presentations). The proposal should include all expenses associated with the execution and completion of the proposed work. Other sources of funding that will support the work should be listed. Your mentor should assist you with the budget. You should also include a brief budget justification clearly explaining your request. If you are requesting a stipend, it can only be paid in one way: as an hourly wage, at a rate of $15/hr, paid by your faculty mentor for work completed on the project. Please note that these hours will be counted together with any other hours you work on campus as a student employee. Student employees are limited to 25 hours of work per week in the academic year and 40 hours of work per week during the summer. Additionally, if you are working during the summer and are not taking a full load of summer classes, you will be required to pay FICA in addition to any other income taxes.

6. Proposals will be evaluated based on:

  • Research proposal description - Does it provide a clear and detailed description of the project, and include: a) goals, b) methods used to conduct the research, and c) schedule for completion.

  • Research proposal topic and scope - will it make significant contribution to a field of study?

  • Funding - has the project been funded previously?

  • Undergraduate transcripts (*transfer hours should be noted) - Has the student completed two or more HC or HNRS courses.